Getting to know Andale’s Tyler Jones
Jones, a senior, has signed to pitch at Wichita State. He is 4-0 with two saves and has not given up an earned run and only one unearned run in 23 1/3 innings. He has struck out 40 and walked three. In 2013, he was 7-1 and had a 1.02 ERA, striking out 54.
What’s your role on the baseball team?
“We’re a young team, but the young guys have been getting playing time and have stepped up and done really well. Being a senior, I need to be a leader. I make sure I don’t let emotion get the best of me.With young guys watching, I’m trying to be a good leader at all times. I think a good leader is someone that can do what they need. They’re not bossing the younger guys around, but being there and picking them up and telling them what they’re doing wrong or calming them down.”
Why did you choose to sign with Wichita State?
“Being a local guy, it has a big, nice stadium, nice everything. It has one of the best pitching coaches in the nation in Brent Kemnitz, a new head coach who’s a high-energy guy with high expectations. And Kerry Rosenboom, strength and conditioning, who, since I’m a skinny guy (6-foot-3, 170 pounds), I feel like he can help me.”
Do you feel pressure to prove yourself because you have signed to play Division I baseball?
“I feel that I’ve proved enough to sign to go where I am. I don’t feel any pressure. Junior year was my most pressure year because I didn’t really know where I was going to play.”
Do you play other sports?
“I used to play basketball, but I stopped after my sophomore year just to focus on baseball and stay away from injuries.… I still play in a Sunday night league at the high school with a bunch of (alums). I played last year and I play throughout the winter, but I stop at baseball season. It’s good conditioning and there’s a lot of competitiveness. Shooting is my strong point.”
What do you do in your free time?
“I play a lot of video games, a lot of NHL. I don’t have a whole lot of friends who play it, so I play on the Internet. Me and my family have had season tickets to the Thunder for the last five, six years. I like hockey because it’s fast-paced, hard hitting, a lot of split-second decisions.”